Estate sales are a thing here in North Carolina. When people move to a smaller house, they sell their stuff. A while back, I decided to hop on that train: I started a little home business and organized weekend estate sales. And you know what? Besides having fun, I learned a ton about Visual Management. It turned out to be extremely useful for my purposes. Let me share four important lessons I learned from selling people’s household items!
1. To organize is to sell
Once people had decided which items they wanted to sell, it was time to organize and price everything. We quickly discovered that sifting through a pile of items is a hopeless task, unless you have a system for it. So, we created one: we categorized items based on type, size, and value, displaying them in an organized manner. This made it easier for buyers to navigate the estate sale scene and find what they were looking for.
2. ‘Easy on the eye’ does the trick
To attract buyers, we needed to create an inviting, visually appealing environment. Eye-catching displays, for example, turned out to be very effective. And when we used signage and labels to draw attention to specific items (which were always neatly arranged), people were quick to find and buy them.
3. Prices can be colorful
Money isn’t just green — that is, not when it comes to estate sales. We learned that color coding was extremely effective when pricing items, especially when we subsequently displayed them in ‘color groups.’ It provided buyers with an at-a-glance overview of prices, which helped them make quick, informed purchasing decisions.
4. Color coding your inventory works
There they are again: the colors. But only because color coding works. We found that inventory management was much easier when we started using color-coded stickers and tags to indicate the status of items (“sold” or “still available”).
Fast, informed decision-making
Estate sales taught me that Visual Management helps us in any situation that requires fast, informed, real-time decision-making — whether that’s in our personal or professional lives!
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